Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta EEUU Congreso. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta EEUU Congreso. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, mayo 30, 2015

Speaker Boehner: Congress Will Ensure Cuba Sanctions Remain

Speaker Boehner: The White House Has Handed the Castro Regime a Significant Political Win in Return for Nothing

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration’s decision to remove Cuba from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror:

The Obama administration has handed the Castro regime a significant political win in return for nothing. The communist dictatorship has offered no assurances it will address its long record of repression and human rights abuses at home. Nor has it offered any indication it will cease its support for violence throughout the region, including the brutal attacks on Cuban democracy protestors in Panama City during the Summit for the Americas earlier this year.  

As I’ve said before, relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom – and not one second sooner. Removing the regime from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror is just the latest example of this administration focusing more on befriending our enemies than helping our allies, but fortunately it will have little practical effect. Most U.S. sanctions on the Cuban regime are contained in other laws – laws the U.S. House will ensure remain in place as we work to protect those fighting for freedom, and in many cases, simply their own survival.

Who Needs Edward Snowden?

With Congress now poised to renew, not renew, or revise the N.S.A.’s bulk metadata program, it’s worth thinking about where we would be now if a twenty-nine-year-old contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton hadn’t left Hawaii for Hong Kong, and a new life as an outlaw ombudsman.
Were it not for Edward Snowden or someone like him, the N.S.A. would likely still be collecting the records of almost every phone call made in the United States, and no one outside of government would know it. A handful of civil-liberties-minded representatives and senators might drop hints in hearings and ask more pointed questions in classified settings. Members of the public would continue making phone calls, unaware that they were contributing to a massive government database that was supposedly intended to make their lives safer but had not prevented a single terrorist attack. And, on Monday, the government’s Section 215 powers, used to acquire records from hundred of billions of phone calls, among other “tangible things,” would be quietly renewed.
Snowden shouldn’t have been necessary. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (or FISA Court), which evaluates Section 215 requests, is supposed to be interpreting the law to make sure that government surveillance doesn’t go outside of it. Congressional intelligence committees, which review the activities of the N.S.A., are supposed to be providing some oversight. The N.S.A. itself reports to the Department of Defense, which reports to the White House, all of which have dozens of lawyers, who are all supposed to apply the law. The government, in other words, is supposed to be watching itself, especially in matters of national security, which are, by necessity, shielded from daylight. The fact that it took thirteen years, and one whistle-blower, to expose a program that is conclusively ineffective and, according to one federal appeals court, illegal, points to a problem much larger than any one program. It suggests that claims about what is necessary to prevent the next terrorist attack are too sacrosanct to require evidence. As the debate over Section 215 has played out over the past two years, it has become clear that the punishments for exaggerating the efficacy of surveillance programs and downplaying their privacy implications are just about nonexistent.
The government enshrouds the details of its surveillance programs in a technical vocabulary (“reasonable articulable suspicion,” “seeds,” “queries,” “identifiers”) that renders them too dull and opaque for substantive discussion by civilians. As one Pentagon handbook put it, “one can be led astray by relying on the generic or commonly understood definition of a particular word.” There is a kind of legal subversion at work here. Broad and clearly worded laws, including the Fourth Amendment, are being undermined by a raft of quasi-legal documents, most of them too long, narrow, and boring to read—that is, if anyone were allowed to read them in full. Instead of being named for what they actually do, programs are named for the subsections of the laws that are supposed to authorize them, whether or not that authority is actually present in the language of the law. With all the attention being paid to Section 215, named for a part of the Patriot Act, which does not contain the words “bulk,” “phone,” or “metadata,” it’s easy to forget that the program is just one piece of the intelligence community’s legal armory. Little is known about how other authorities, including Executive Order 12333, which some consider the intelligence community’s most essential charter, are being interpreted to permit spying on Americans. And a redacted report, released last week by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, hints at how much we still don’t know about Section 215. Nearly two years into the congressional debate over the use and legality of Section 215, the report provides the first official confirmation that the “tangible things” obtained by the F.B.I. through Section 215 include not just phone metadata but “email transactional records” and two full lines of other uses, all of which the F.B.I. saw fit to redact.
Some have argued that the current surveillance regime isn’t as bad as the activities of Henry Kissinger, who ordered wiretaps on his rivals during the Vietnam era, or of J. Edgar Hoover, who used the F.B.I. to authorize the covert infiltration of left-wing groups and terrorized Martin Luther King, Jr., with anonymous threats. Those abuses led to the lengthy investigations of the Church Committee, and the current system of judicial and congressional oversight. It’s true that the modern surveillance regime is less about the passions of individuals and more about the tendencies of institutions. But those tendencies—especially the belief that national security can trump the plain English of the law—will likely make it hard for this generation to achieve meaningful surveillance reform. This week’s debate over Section 215 should be the beginning of a much larger conversation.

jueves, abril 23, 2015

La rendicion incondicional del Congreso de mayoría republicana a Obama y Cuba

sin tirar un hollejo y sin recibir la ofensiva prevista por el castrismo, la mayoria republicana en el congreso incluido los congresistas cubano-americanos, se pliegan a la conspiracion castrista-obamista de sacar al regimen de la lista de paises patrocinadores del terrorismo. bastaria condicionar la decision a una resolucion con efecto judicial inmediato que declarara a raul castro y a varios de sus mas cercanos testaferros como patrocinadores del terrorismo durante mas de medio siglo. juzguen a los castros y sus sicarios y luego conversamos. de ahi a que el mismisimo congreso reemplace las leyes helms-burton y torricelli por un tratado de nacion mas favorecida a cuba, es solo cuestion de tiempo.
La publicación Foreign Policy (FP) informa, citando a la veterana legisladora cubanoamericana Ileana Ros Lehtinen que la bancada republicana mayoritaria en el Congreso de EE.UU. no avanzará un proyecto de ley para bloquear la acción ejecutiva del presidente Barack Obama que retiraría a Cuba de la lista de Estados Patrocinadores del Terrorismo.
"No podemos revertirlo," dijo Ros-Lehtinen al sitio de política exterior, en una entrevista el miércoles. "Acabamos de recibir la información de la Oficina del Parlamentario: no es(legalmente) factible".
La Oficina del Parlamentario ofrece a la Cámara de Representantes orientación imparcial sobre las normas y procedimientos parlamentarios. Para ellos compila los precedentes parlamentarios que guían a la Cámara en cuestiones relativas al procedimiento legislativo.
Un parlamentario ha sido nombrado, sin tener en cuenta su afiliación política, en cada Congreso desde 1927. En la actualidad desempeña ese cargo Thomas J.Wickham Jr.
Ros-Lehtinen había obtenido el apoyo de 35 copatrocinadores para un proyecto de ley dirigido a bloquear la medida de Obama, y planeaba presentarlo esta semana. Funcionarios del Departamento de Estado y la Casa Blanca, que ya se preparan a enfrentarse al Capitolio en torno al financiamiento de una embajada de Estados Unidos en La Habana, también estaban anticipando una reñida pelea con el Congreso acerca del proyecto legislativo contrala exclusión de Cuba.
"Todo el mundo creía que el Congreso lo podría hacer", dijo un asesor del Congreso. "Habría significado semanas de audiencias en la Cámara y el Senado dedicadas a criticar la política hacia Cuba de Obama. Esto libra de un dolor de cabeza a la administración".
Según Ros-Lehtinen, la confusión sobre la autoridad del Congreso surgió de una mala interpretación de la Ley Helms-Burton, la ley federal aprobada en 1996 que amplió y fortaleció el embargo de Estados Unidos contra Cuba.
"Cuando la redactamos colocamos el embargo en la legislación de manera que sólo pudiera ser levantado por una ley del Congreso", dijo. "Pero ni siquiera pensamos en la lista de Estados Patrocinadores del Terrorismo, puesno se hablaba mucho de eso".
“Ahora no podemos hacerlo legislativamente”, remarcó.
FP recuerda que La semana pasada, Obama hizo una recomendación formal al Congreso para eliminar a Cuba de la lista, que también incluye a adversarios tradicionales de los Estados Unidos, como Irán y Siria, poniendo en marcha un proceso de revisión de 45 días por la legislatura.
Numerosos medios informaron entonces que los legisladores podrían tomar medidas para bloquear la movida mediante una resolución conjunta durante el período de revisión, lo cual habría generado un enfrentamiento entre las dos ramas del poder.
La eliminación de la designación de Cuba es un paso importante en los esfuerzos de la Casa Blanca para normalizar las relaciones con Cuba; su reiterada inclusión desde 1982 por el Departamento de Estado había sido un obstáculo que La Habana resentía para el acercamiento.
La salida de Cuba eliminaría algunas sanciones contra el gobierno de los Castro, tales como las restricciones a la ayuda de organismos financieros multilaterales y la prohibición a los bancos de tratar con La Habana .
Ros-Lehtinen dijo que planea introducir en las próximas semanas proyectos legislativos dirigidos a frenar la nueva política hacia Cuba de Obama, pero enfatizó que no se ocupará de la exclusión de Cuba de la lista de terrorismo "porque no podemos deshacerlo", dijo.
"Incluso si lo aprobáramos ... sería una victoria pírrica", añadió.

martes, abril 21, 2015

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart: Obama’s Cuba Policy Is Enabling a Dictator | TIME

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart represents Florida’s 25th Congressional District and is Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations.

All eight Cuban-American senators and congressmen from both sides of the aisle strongly disagree with Obama

President Barack Obama continues to appease brutal dictatorships while gaining precious little in return. He conflates the Cuban dictatorship with the Cuban people when in reality, their interests are diametrically opposed. With sweeping arrogance, President Obama acts as though he stands above history with wisdom that surpasses every American president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first to impose sanctions on the Fidel Castro regime. Obama’s foreign policy is radical even compared to his own party. President John F. Kennedy imposed many of the first stringent sanctions against the Castro regime, and President Bill Clinton signed into law the LIBERTAD Act, which codified sanctions that Obama now opposes.
All eight Cuban-American senators and congressmen from both sides of the aisle, strongly disagree with him. One would think that he might consult with us.

The Cuban people simply want to gather peacefully, speak their minds, practice their faiths, access the Internet, and enjoy the fruits of their labor. The ailing octogenarians that run Cuba would never allow those simple liberties. A key point often overlooked is that, under current law, the president can lift sanctions once free, fair elections are scheduled, political prisoners are released, and independent press, organized labor, and political parties are legalized in Cuba. The Cuban people deserve no less, yet Obama abandoned the U.S. commitment to those basic goals when he abandoned his most significant leverage to advance them.
Obama’s capitulation to dictators apparently has no bounds. In 2001, five Cuban spies were convicted for conspiracy to commit espionage. One of those five convicted spies, Gerardo Hernandez, was additionally serving two life sentences for the murders of innocent Americans and a legal permanent resident in the shoot-down of civilian aircraft over international waters. Obama’s State and Justice Departments arranged, while Hernandez was in federal prison, to help him have his wife in Cuba artificially inseminated. Shortly thereafter, in another striking concession, Obama commuted his sentence and ordered his release. When has any president been so embarrassingly eager to appease a brutal, anti-American, repressive dictatorship?
Obama’s policies also hurt the Cuban people by emboldening a regime already ready to oppress them. Since the president’s Dec. 17, 2014 announcement, there have been approximately 1,300 political arrests in Cuba. During the Obama administration, five pro-democracy activists have died – Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia, Laura Pollan, Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero. The Castro regime exports its brand of violence abroad to Venezuela, where it subverts democratic institutions and helps to repress the Venezuelan people. And just recently, with the president’s implicit blessing, the Castro dictatorship brazenly flexed its impunity at the summit in Panama by beating pro-democracy activists, including American citizens, and ejecting an American journalist from an international press conference. Three days later, the regime was rewarded for those human rights abuses with another monumental concession: removal from the state sponsors of terror list.
Removal from the terrorism list is especially disturbing when the Castro regime continues to provide safe harbor to one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, Joanne Chesimard, terrorist bomb-maker William Morales, and more than 70 other fugitives from U.S. justice. It also has ties to ETA and FARC terrorists, supports other rogue states including Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea, and provides support to Hamas and Hezbollah. In July 2013, Panamanian authorities discovered that the North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang was carrying military weapons that it had loaded from Cuba. A UN panel of experts determined that the shipment was the biggest violation of those international sanctions to date. Further, the Castro regime maintains an extensive espionage network against the United States. Ana Belen Montes (Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, serving a 25-year sentence for conspiracy to commit espionage), the five convicted “WASP” network spies, Walter and Gwendolyn Myers (State Department analyst and his wife serving sentences for conspiracy to commit espionage), Elsa and Carlos Alvarez (Florida International University professor and his wife, serving sentences), and Marta Rita Velazquez (USAID, indicted but fled to Sweden) are a few examples of those who have spied on the Castros’ behalf against the U.S. in the past 15 years.
Obama’s strategy has been an abysmal failure wherever it has been tried. During the horrific slaughter of Iranian protesters during the summer of 2009, President Obama was nowhere to be found throughout most of that turmoil. When he finally decided to speak, he declared, “the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with Iran’s affairs.” Defending liberty is hardly “interference,” whether referring to the mullahs in Iran or the Castro brothers. Instead, it is the minimum required from those of us living in freedom. As President Obama negotiates with the murderers in Tehran and Havana, he has excised those regimes’ terrorism abroad and atrocities at home – points any U.S. president should find salient – from the negotiating table.
One thing is clear: The president will barrel along with his failed foreign policy agenda regardless of the harm to American security interests, damage to pro-democracy movements, and the diminishing trust of our allies. Obama’s foreign policy is an aberration in America’s long and proud history of supporting freedom across the globe. The U.S. Congress continues to stand with the oppressed people of the world struggling for freedom, and will do all it can to keep the president from bargaining away every ounce of leverage we have to the world’s worst actors.

lunes, abril 20, 2015

Speaker Boehner: House Will Respond to Obama's Cuba Policy

In an interview today on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) discussed Cuba policy:

On the President’s Recent Actions Toward Cuba & the House’s Response:

The president keeps giving, and giving, and giving and I want to see what the Castro brothers are giving.  They’ve done nothing.  I think this is unwise, unhelpful, and I think will lead to almost nowhere... There’s an appropriation process that’ll be started here by the end of the month and I expect when it comes to the appropriation bills there will be riders added that will freeze the president’s ability to do a lot of the things that he says he’s going to do. It’ll be a hotly contested issue here in the House and the Senate.”

On the President’s Executive Overreach:

Presidents have the ability to take executive action but they don’t have the ability to change the law. And whether it was immigration, where I believe the president clearly overreached. Whether it was the 38 changes to ObamaCare that the president made, I think those – most of those – exceeded his authority to do. And we’re in litigation on both of those issues. But when it comes to some of the issues with regard to Cuba he has the ability to do some of this. But, the Congress has an ability to speak as well, and we will probably through the appropriation process.”

domingo, febrero 08, 2015

More Questions Than Answers at Cuba Hearings

By Evan Moore of The Foreign Policy Initiative:

More Questions Than Answers at Cuba Hearings

The American people, Congress, and even senior administration officials were surprised by President Obama’s December 17 change of policy in U.S.-Cuba relations.  Concurrent with a prisoner swap that secured the release of former USAID contractor Alan Gross, President Obama announced that Washington would begin to normalize relations with Havana.  In hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) this week, administration officials and Cuban democracy activists discussed the uncertainties surrounding the new policy and the importance of a renewed push for democratic change in Cuba.

The Need for Transparency

During a November 19 hearing to consider Antony Blinken’s nomination to be Deputy Secretary of State, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked, “Do you anticipate, during the rest of the president’s term, that there will be any unilateral change” to Cuba policy absent democratic reforms?  Blinken responded, “Anything that in the future might be done on Cuba would be done in full consultation” with Congress.  Blinken later apologized for misrepresenting the administration’s policy, but the fact remains that Congress expects greater transparency on this issue.

At this week’s hearings, it was clear that the State Department’s senior policymakers were also out of the loop.  Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “no one in my bureau” was involved in negotiations, which were led “to the best of my knowledge” by National Security Council staffers Ben Rhodes and Ricardo Zuniga.

Similarly, Ms. Rosa Maria Payá, a human rights activist and the daughter of the slain dissident Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, told senators that the new policy can succeed only if “it is addressed with responsibility and with transparency, not more secrets,” and if the voice of Cuban citizens are heard during future negotiations.

Prioritize Human Rights in Cuba

As the State Department noted in its most recent human rights report on Cuba, the Castro regime uses “threats, extrajudicial physical violence, intimidation, mobs, harassment, and detentions” to maintain its rule.  The Havana-based Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation reported last month that there were 8,899 short-term detentions of dissidents and activists in 2014.  That is 2,000 more than the previous year and four times as many as in 2010.

Although 53 political prisoners were released as part of the agreement between the Obama administration and the Castro regime, those individuals remain under conditions that could easily return them to prison—and two have already been re-arrested.  As Mrs. Paya told the panel, “The regime turns political prisoners into pieces to be exchanged, because they can catch-and-release at will more political prisoners.”

Tom Malinowski, the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, told senators that “The release of these prisoners does not change the fundamental nature of a state that tries to stifle everything it does not control.” He added that “We have no illusions about the current leadership’s desire to keep things just as they are.”  Going forward, the administration’s actions should reflect Mr. Malinowski’s recognition that “Human rights and the empowerment of the Cuban people must be the bedrock of our new policy towards Cuba, and it will be.”

Maintaining Pressure on the Castro Regime

In December, President Obama announced that this administration was “removing limits on remittances that support humanitarian projects, the Cuban people, and the emerging Cuban private sector.”  Miriam Leiva, a Cuban human rights activist, told senators that these remittances have helped open new “very small” businesses and lay the “seed for a future bigger business” by establishing financial independence from the regime.

But the emergence of new businesses alone will not free Cuba from the grip of the regime.  As Malinoswki said, “no country ever became a democracy simply because of trade or tourists.”  Indeed, as Paya noted, Cuban “entrepreneurs cannot be a factor to foster democracy because their existence as ‘private’ owners depends on their submission to the government.  There cannot be free markets where there are no free persons.”  She added, “With mojitos and Cuba Libres we’re not going to free our island.”

Lawmakers were even more critical of the administration’s decision to increase business between the United States and Cuba.  Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ), the ranking member on HFAC’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, noted that because 85 percent of Cuban businesses are run by the military, “the people that are fighting for liberty and fighting for democracy on the island are basically left out” of the President’s new approach.  HFAC Chairman Ed Royce warned that “the Administration may have given a 50-year-old failed regime a new lease on life to continue its repression at home.”

Building a Coalition for Democratic Change in Cuba

Ms. Jacobson told skeptical House members that the new Cuba policy will enable the United States to “work more effectively with” Latin American and European countries to bring about change in Cuba.  Manuel Cuesta Morúa, a Cuban civil society leader, concurred, saying the administration’s policy shift “frames the debate over human rights in Cuba on the basis of a conflict about values, not a conflict among states.”

However, the argument that the U.S. embargo was “such an irritant” to Latin American and European countries so as to prevent them from speaking out against Havana’s human rights abuses is thin.  As Malinowski said, “To the extent that they used the embargo and our policy as an excuse for being silent about human rights abuses in Cuba, that was not justified.”  This is because “none of this, Cuba’s repression, its poverty, its isolation, is the fault of the United States or of the embargo. The responsibility lies with the Cuban government, period.”

Mr. Malinowski is right, and there is no excuse for other countries to refrain from condemning the Castro regime for its abuses.  The Obama administration should call on Latin American and European partners to insist that the Castro regime stop abusing human rights and immediately begin a process of democratization.


At this juncture, much remains uncertain about the President’s new Cuba policy.  SFRC Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ) lamented this week that “While it may have been done with the best of intentions, in my view we’ve compromised bedrock principles for virtually no concessions” from Cuba. Berta Soler, the President of Cuban Ladies in White, warned “You can’t do business with a tyrant. It just doesn’t work that way.” Nonetheless, the administration is reportedly seeking to open an embassy in Havana as soon as April, and is pressing to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism by June.

Moving forward, it is imperative that the Obama administration view its Cuba policy through the lens of helping the Cuban people win their freedom.  What’s more, President Obama should remember the pledge he made during the 2008 campaign that “if a post-Fidel government begins opening Cuba to democratic change, frees political prisoners and holds elections, the United States is prepared to take steps to normalize relations and ease the embargo that has governed relations between our countries for the last five decades.”  Just as Mr. Obama then pledged, any further U.S. steps should be made only after the Cuban regime takes real and irreversible actions to democratize.

jueves, febrero 05, 2015

Contundente respuesta de Antúnez a un congresista

Frente de Resistencia Civica OZT

"Situación de las cárceles cubanas " - Antunez en el Congreso norteamericano

Frente de Resistencia Civica OZT

"No se puede confundir Cuba con el régimen" - Antunez en el Congreso norteamericano

Frente de Resistencia Civica OZT

Congressional Trips to Cuba in Doubt as US Interest Surges

A series of trips to Cuba by U.S. lawmakers is in doubt amid questions over the communist government's eagerness or ability to accommodate a surge of new interest and possible investment from the United States.
American officials said the Cuban government has pushed off all congressional visits, including one by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, until at least mid-April. The Cuban Interests Section in Washington said some will go forward in the coming days, but others are postponed.
Several members of Congress had planned to go to the island country this month. They included Pelosi, a California Democrat, and Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, who has proposed ending the U.S. travel embargo of Cuba.
President Raul Castro's government has been scrambling to adjust to the possibility of new U.S. travel and investment in Cuba since he and President Barack Obama announced in December that the two countries would repair ties after a half-century of enmity.
And in a surprise development, Obama administration officials said they were informed by their Cuban counterparts earlier this week that no congressional visits would be allowed to travel to Cuba until April 15. They spoke on condition anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.
The Cuban Interests Section rejected that account, saying some delegations would be arriving in the next days.
A spokesman, who demanded anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk publicly, said Cuba is receiving a large number of requests for visits. As a result, he said, the government is "arranging for the best possible dates for their visits so they get the attention they deserve in the middle of the many tasks we are facing at this moment in Cuba."
Pelosi's office had no immediate comment.
However, Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Flake confirmed they wanted to visit at the end of the month but the Cubans denied the request.
Moran said the delegation was comprised of Republican senators who are "open-minded about changing the relationship with Cuba" and wanted to get a better understanding of issues on the island.
"At this point the indication is that they're not ready for our visit," said Moran, who was still hoping to reschedule the trip. "We don't know the reason. My staff has been told that the Cubans are not able to put together the necessary meetings that they would want to have for us. It could be just scheduling, but I don't know."
Many of the trips aim to explore new business opportunities as part of the thaw in U.S.-Cuban tensions. The administration last month significantly eased the 54-year economic embargo of Cuba, allowing U.S. telecommunications exports for the first time and ending a restriction on American credit and debit card transactions on the island.
Cubans are still trying to gauge the potential effects of the changes. U.S. companies also are still trying to make sense of the new regulations and much remains unclear. Only Congress has the power to fully lift the embargo, a step Obama is calling for but Republican leaders in the House and Senate oppose.
The most immediate objective of U.S.-Cuban diplomacy right now is re-establishing embassies.
The U.S. had been seeking to clinch an agreement before the Summit of the Americas in Panama. The meeting of Western Hemisphere nations takes place April 10-11 and could bring Obama and Castro together for a face-to-face meeting.
But the U.S. says Cuba must first end restrictions on American diplomats, shipments to the current U.S. Interests Section in Havana and entrance by Cubans to that building for embassies to be restored.
Cuba's most pressing demand is an end to banking restrictions, many of which are linked to its U.S. designation as a "state sponsor of terrorism." The Obama administration is likely to lift Cuba from that list in the next months.

House members question how new Cuba policy will improve human rights

One America News Network

Chairman Royce: Obama Gives Cuban Regime New Lease on Life

Excerpts from the opening remarks of U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House

[T]alks with the Cuban regime were conducted by two White House officials. Unfortunately the White House was unwilling to provide these key witnesses today. This Committee, charged with oversight of our foreign policy, is handicapped when those officials most involved in policy making are unavailable. The Administration’s growing track record of secret negotiations, whether Iran or the release of the “Taliban Five,” is increasingly troublesome.

Had the White House consulted more widely, it may have heard that Havana is facing the threats of losing Venezuelan oil subsides and mounting public pressure for basic reforms. This could have been used to leverage meaningful political concessions by the regime. But this was a one-sided “negotiation,” with the U.S. making a series of concessions to Havana [...]

In defending this policy change, the President has compared our economic relationship with Cuba to that of China and Vietnam. But in China and Vietnam - while Communist - at least foreign firms can hire and recruit staff directly, without their pay going directly to the government.

Not so in Cuba, which is more like North Korea than China. A Cuban worker at the foreign-owned resort receives only a fraction of their salary – as little as 5 percent. Castro or Kim, the method is the same – extract hard currency from foreign business and invest in the security apparatus.

Instead of dismantling a 50-year-old failed policy, as it claims, the Administration may have given a 50-year-old failed regime a new lease on life to continue its repression at home and militant support for Marxist regimes abroad.
Foreign Affairs Committee, during today's Cuba policy hearing:

Ros-Lehtinen Demands That The Administration Answer To The Victims Of Castro's Regime


Testimonio de Antúnez ante la audiencia del Congreso de EEUU

Frente de Resistencia Civica OZT

Voz de América - Redacción
El disidente cubano Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” testificó este jueves en el Congreso para pedir apoyo a la libertad en Cuba.
En una emotiva intervención, Antúnez aseguró que “la dictadura castrista es un sistema irreformable” y criticó la decisión del gobierno del presidente Barack Obama de restablecer relaciones con La Habana.
“Estos acuerdos —considerados como una traición a las aspiraciones del pueblo cubano— son inaceptables, porque los principios y los derechos de los pueblos no pertenecen a ningún país por poderoso que sea”, dijo.
Agregó que “este es el momento de pedir concesiones reales al régimen cubano” y pidió “al pueblo y a este Congreso elegido libremente, que mantenga su firme apoyo a que el pueblo cubano sea libre”.
“Lo que necesitamos es libertad, y la resistencia cubana está luchando. Necesitamos su comprensión y apoyo”, remarcó.
La audiencia se realiza en la Subcomisión sobre África, salud mundial, derechos humanos globales y rrganizaciones Internacionales y se titula “Derechos Humanos en Cuba: una oportunidad perdida”.
Además de Antúnez, participan la fundadora de las Damas de Blanco, Berta Soler, otra de sus miembros, Sara Fonseca, y el director de WOLA, Geoff Thale.
La miembro de la subcomisión, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, al referirse a los invitados dijo que “Esta es la gente que tiene que sufrir las consecuencias de las decisiones de Obama”.
Otro representante, Mario Díaz-Balart, quien no es miembro de la subcomisión se refirió a ellos como “héroes”.
Contrariamente, la representante demócrata por California, Karen Bass, recordó que muchos países han visto el embargo hacia Cuba como una violación a los derechos humanos, agregando que ve el restablecimiento de relaciones entre los dos países como buena para el pueblo cubano.

jueves, enero 29, 2015

El senador Marco Rubio presidirá audiencia sobre Cuba

El senador republicano por la Florida, Marco Rubio, fuerte crítico del Gobierno de Raúl Castro y posible candidato a la Presidencia del país en 2016, presidirá el próximo martes la primera audiencia sobre el deshielo de las relaciones con Cuba que se celebra en el Senado tras su anuncio.
Rubio fue hoy nombrado Presidente del Subcomité para Asuntos del Hemisferio Occidental, Crimen Trasnacional, Seguridad Civil, Democracia, Derechos Humanos y Asuntos Mundiales de la Mujer, ante el que se celebrará dicha audiencia.
"Siendo de Florida, he visto cómo los acontecimientos en el Hemisferio Occidental no sólo impactan en nuestro estado sino en toda nuestra nación. Durante demasiado tiempo, el Congreso y la Administración no han logrado priorizar nuestras relaciones en este hemisferio", dijo Rubio tras su nombramiento.
"Esta falta de atención nos ha impedido aprovechar las oportunidades de una clase media en ascenso, ha envalentonado a los tiranos, ha permitido que actores no estatales erosionen valores democráticos y que competidores globales profundicen su influencia en el continente", aseveró el Senador, citado por la agencia EFE.
Rubio alertó, asimismo, sobre que Estados Unidos ha perdido su capacidad para responder ante la proliferación de la delincuencia organizada en las Américas.
"Como presidente del subcomité –añadió–, promoveré medidas audaces que mejoren los intereses económicos y de seguridad, abordando los crecientes llamados a la región para contar con instituciones transparentes, acceso a una educación de calidad, competitividad del sector privado, y respeto por la libertad política y económica para todos".
El legislador, gran escéptico sobre el proceso de acercamiento entre La Habana y Washington, resaltó también que trabajará por defender los Derechos Humanos en los países americanos, especialmente en Venezuela y Cuba.

martes, enero 20, 2015

Antunez to Join Speaker Boehner at State of the Union

From The Washington Examiner:

Boehner's SOTU guest is top Cuban dissident

House Speaker John Boehner will broadcast his opposition to President Obama’s executive action to normalize relations with Cuba to an international audience by bringing a top leader of the Cuban resistance movement to the State of the Union speech.

One of Boehner’s confirmed guests for the evening is Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, who is known as “Antunez.”

Antunez, the 43-year-old leader of Cuba’s civic resistance movement, served more than 17 years in prison, with the Castro regime releasing him in 2007 ahead of expected European sanctions. He lives in Cuba and will return there in two weeks.

He was imprisoned in 1990 after participating in a pro-democracy march. In prison, he refused to wear the uniform provided and rejected communist re-education lessons, which resulted in guards sending him to solitary confinement and adding more years to his original five-year sentence.

Already in Washington ahead of Obama’s speech, Antunez thanked Boehner for inviting him and said his presence at the speech is an “important recognition to the Cuban resistance” about the significance of their plight — especially now, just a few days after the administration eased major sanctions on the island nation for the first time in 50 years.

“He is an ambassador for the Cuban resistance — for those struggling inside Cuba,” Antunez told the Washington Examiner on Monday night through an interpreter. “He especially feels that he is here representing all of those prisoners who are not released in response to the Obama-Castro” agreement.

He also highlighted a document, the Agreement for Democracy, signed by top Cuban resistance leaders in 1998, laying out their demands from the Castro regime, including free and fair elections and the release of all political prisoners. He specifically named Ciro Alexis Casanova, Ernesto Borges Perez and Armando Sosa Fortuny as two resistance leaders who remain in prison that should be immediately released.

Antunez also had a strong message for Obama.

“He would tell President Barack Obama that the way to change Cuba is not by engaging the Castro regime — and that Cuba is not the Castro regime,” he said, making the point that “the stronger the regime becomes economically because of investment, the weaker the resistance becomes.”

He also took issue with what he regarded as Obama’s “secret negotiations” with the Castro regime, describing them as “illegitimate” because they did not involve resistance leaders or average Cubans.

“The future of Cuba should not have been agreed to in secret — as these secret negotiations between Cuba and the regime have been carried out,” he said. “No agreement that excludes the Cuban resistance and the Cuban people can be considered legitimate.”

A Cuban of African-American descent, fellow inmates nicknamed him the “black diamond” to recognize what they considered his courage and unbreakable spirit, and many Cuban’s refer to him as the island’s Nelson Mandela.

In his essay “A Word From the Opposition,” in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Democracy, Antunez highlighted the Cuban resistance movement’s adherence to the non-violent principles set forth by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King.

He is married to Iris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, president of the Rosa Parks Women’s Movement.

Prominent members of the Cuban-American community in Congress, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both Republicans from Florida, also have Cuban dissidents as their guests to the State of the Union.

Rubio has invited Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo as his personal guest to Obama’s annual speech to Congress on Tuesday, his office confirmed Monday.

Paya Acevedo is a Cuban Christian Liberation Movement activist whose father, Oswaldo Paya, one of Cuba’s best-known dissidents, was killed in 2012 in a car crash under suspicious circumstances.

The Paya family argues that the Castro brothers orchestrated the crash and that it had been driven off the road, while the Cuban government asserts that the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree. The Cuban government has refused to allow an investigation and has withheld a copy of the autopsy report from the family.

Ros-Lehtinen, a former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is bringing a representative of the family members whose relatives were killed by Castro regime in 1996.

In February of that year, members of the anti-Castro group Brothers to the Rescue were in a pair of Cessnas flying over international waters near the island. The Cuban Air Force shot the planes out of the sky, killing three American pilots.

Ros-Lehtinen has invited Marlene Alejandre Triana, the daughter of Armando Alejandre, a decorated Vietnam veteran and one of the pilots who died in the 1996 shoot-down.

Earlier Monday, the White House announced that Alan Gross, a subcontractor recently freed by the Cuban government after five years of imprisonment, will be one of first lady Michelle Obama’s guests at the State of the Union address, along with Gross’s wife Judy.

Gross’s release came the same day Obama announced his unilateral action to reestablish diplomatic ties to the one-party Communist island nation, which is viewed by those supporting the new relationship with Cuba as a positive outgrowth of loosening restrictions on the island nation.

miércoles, enero 14, 2015

Presentan proyecto de ley para levantar el embargo

El pasado 12 de enero el representante demócrata por Illinois Bobby L. Rush presentó un proyecto de Ley que propone levantar el embargo estadounidense a Cuba.
La propuesta titulada "H.R. 274: To lift the trade embargo on Cuba, and for other purposes" (HR.274 Para levantar el embargo a Cuba y otros propósitos) fue presentada ante un comité congresional que deberá evaluarla para considerar si pasa al pleno de la Cámara. Hasta ahora no ha sido copatrocinada por nadie, de acuerdo a la información oficial.
El congresista demócrata ha sido partidario del mejoramiento de las relaciones de Estados Unidos con la isla y, desde 2009, ha trabajado en iniciativas para la normalización del comercio entre ambos países.
En abril de ese año visitó la isla junto a otros seis legisladores demócratas  y fueron recibidos por el gobernante cubano Raúl Castro.

jueves, diciembre 18, 2014

Speaker Boehner on Changes in U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

Speaker Boehner on Changes in U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement of changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba:

“Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom – and not one second sooner. There is no ‘new course’ here, only another in a long line of mindless concessions to a dictatorship that brutalizes its people and schemes with our enemies. If anything, this emboldens all state sponsors of terrorism, as they now have an even better idea of what the president meant when he once told Russian leaders he would have ‘more flexibility’ after his re-election. We have seen this before, and I fear we will see it again. Despite these reservations about the president’s changes in our policy toward this communist regime, we all feel great joy and relief for Alan Gross and his family. Americans do not forget our own, and we speak out today because we have a moral responsibility not to forget anyone anywhere who longs for liberty and dignity.”

Congresistas cubano-americanos en contra de la decision de Obama sobre Cuba


sábado, noviembre 08, 2014

Alex Mooney, Primer Congresista Cubano-Americano Electo por West Virginia

Alex Mooney, center, with family, left, and supporters announces he won'/
West Virginia’s new U.S. Congressman is Alex Mooney, a politician who is of Hispanic heritage.
Mooney, a Republican, defeated Nick Casey, the former chairman of the state’s Democratic party, by about three points in Tuesday’s midterm election for West Virginia’s Charleston-area 2nd Congressional District, which borders Maryland and Virginia.
“The state with the smallest share of Latinos in the nation has elected its first Latino congressional representative,” Fox News Latino pointed out.
According to Mooney’s website, “Alex’s mother, Lala, was born and raised in Fidel Castro’s Cuba, where she and other members of her family were thrown into jail for seven weeks for opposing Castro’s communist regime. When she was 21, Lala escaped Cuba and fled to America with barely a penny to her name.”
In winning the election, Mooney, 43, had to overcome charges of being a carpetbagger or an opportunist because he only moved to the state last year. He was a former Maryland state senator and chair of the Republican Party there.
Parenthetically, in a huge upset in Maryland on Tuesday, GOP standard-bearer Larry Hogan came out of nowhere to defeat Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the race for governor.
Notwithstanding his change of address, Alex Mooney apparently was successful in linking his rival to President Obama’s unpopular policies in a state that is now strongly trending red.
“Alex and his wife moved to West Virginia because they wanted to raise their two children in a state that shares their values. In Congress, Alex will fight to protect West Virginia’s conservative values and coal jobs and make sure West Virginia continues to be the kind of place to which other families want to move,” Mooney’s campaign manager claimed.
The seat won by Mooney was formerly held for seven terms by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican who was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 4 to replace retiring Senator Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat. In defeating Natalie Tennant, Senator-elect Capito is the first woman in West Virginia to advance to that chamber and also the first Republican to do so in 56 years.
The two political parties burned through in the range of about $2 million each in the 2nd District election contest. Mooney “has vowed to fight against the Affordable Care Act, the so-called ‘war on coal’ and protect what he calls ‘traditional values,” the WV Gazette reported.
West Virgina also has the distinction of electing America’s youngest state-level lawmaker on Tuesday. At age 18, Republican Saira Blair in a landslide won a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates. The West Virginia University freshman thus becomes a freshman legislator.
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Retratos de fusilados por el Castrismo - Juan Abreu


"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño


le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.


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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva


Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.


¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]


A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan


Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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